WINGHAM’S new captain Ben Scowen admits he was considering playing in Newcastle this season before the advent of the McDonalds Mid North Coast Premier League.
Scowen moved to Wingham last summer. A top order batsman he was the second leading run getter in the Manning first grade competition. However, he admits he found the four team premiership limited.
“It’s a bit difficult when you’re only playing against three other teams,’’ he said.
“It did get a bit boring at times.
"I was thinking about playing in Newie until I heard about the new league starting, now I’m looking forward to the new season.’’
He said the mood within the club is positive towards the premier league.
Wingham will play Kempsey Nulla in the opening round tomorrow at Andrews Park in Wauchope.
Wingham will be bolstered by the return of two former players and district representatives, Ben Cole and Dave Rees, who have been at Old Bar for the past few years. Liam O’Neill, who played some first grade with Old Bar last season, is another recruit. However, last season’s leading wicket taker Ryan Williams has reportedly moved to Taree West.
Scowen is confident Wingham will have the players to develop into a premiership force.
“It’s always a bit hard at the start of the season getting numbers along, but I think most clubs would be like that,’’ he said.
Stalwarts including last season’s skipper Matt Essery and Mick Stinson will be there again while Scowen has high hopes for a couple of youngsters, Josh McTaggart and Brodie Guthrie, who played some first grade last season. He believes they’ll develop into strike bowlers if nursed along properly.
“There’ll be no pressure on them and it will be a good way for them to work into senior cricket,’’ he said.
Scowen is looking forward to captaining the side. He’s had previous experience in country Victoria, where he hails from. One day fixtures will be norm in the league, so Scowen will either open or bat at three.
Leading opening batsman Josh Davis has yet to commit to this season, Scowen explaining he is currently buying a house. However, the club hopes will be be back before the end of the season
“Josh is a work in progress at the moment,’’ Scowen said.
Playing at Andrews Park will be a new experience for the majority of the Wingham side. Tomorrow’s opponents, Kempsey Nulla have reportedly picked up players from Bonny Hills and have said to have a solid combination.